Match Centre: Ireland 17-13 Samoa

Conor Murray was one of Ireland's try-scorer
Conor Murray was one of Ireland's try-scorer

Ireland 17-13 Samoa, Bayonne

Conor Murray and Rob Herring scored second half tries as Ireland came from behind to edge out Samoa 17-13 in their final Rugby World Cup warm-up fixture in Bayonne.

Nevertheless, the win came at a cost for Ireland as they saw Cian Healy on his 126th appearance left the field injured with crutches and with a protective boot in the 21st minute marking a doubt on his participation in the showpiece event.

With heavy rains around, teams were struggling to cope up with the slippery conditions and just when Samoa thought they got their first points, a fine tackle by Murray kept them scoreless.

Ireland got the opening try in the 9th minute as a crossfield kick from Jack Crowley was collected by Mack Hansen, who sent Jimmy O'Brien over the line. Crowley also kicked the conversion to give Andy Farrell's side a 7-0 lead.

With Ireland losing Healy to injury, Samoa capitalized on the momentum with Duncan Paia'aua intercepted as pass from Stuart McCloskey to dot down and Lima Sopoaga kicked a conversion and a penalty to ensure they had a 7-10 lead by the end of the opening half.

Sopoaga got Samoa off the block early in the second half with his second penalty goal extending their lead to 7-13 before Murray collected a kick from Jacob Stockdale to dot down but Crowley's conversion drifted wide as the gap remained at one point.

The 64th minute saw Rob Herring diving over at the back of a line out maul and once again Crowley's conversion went wide making it 17-13. Even though Samoa tried their best to create an upset, Ireland's defence ensured they managed to hold on to to their four point lead as they head kick-start their World Cup campaign against Romania on 9th September.

Team line up:

Ireland: O'Brien; Hansen, Henshaw, McCloskey, Stockdale; Crowley, Murray; Healy, Stewart, Bealham, Henderson (capt), Beirne, Baird, Van der Flier, Doris.

Reserves: Herring, Loughman, O'Toole, Ryan, O'Mahony, Casey, Byrne, Ringrose.

Samoa: D Paia'Aua; E Fidow, UJ Seuteni, T Manu, N Ah Wong; L Sopoaga, J Taumateine; James Lay, J Lam, P Alo-Emile, C Vui (co-capt), T McFarland, T Seu, F Lee, S Luatua.

Reserves: S Malolo, Jordan Lay, M Ala'alatoa (co-capt), M Fai'ilagi, SJ Taufua, E Enari, C Leali'ifano, N Foma'i.


Ireland Fixtures